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Conference Proceeding

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This conference paper was originally published as:

Rogers, L. J. (1994, June). Through modern physics towards a structure for causality. In H. Rasi (Ed.), Christ in the Classroom. Paper presented at the International Faith and Learning Seminar, Newbold College, Bracknell (pp. 329-334). Silver Spring, MD: Institute for Christian Teaching.


This paper suggests that from its beginning, science has been one of those factors informing the Christian understanding of human and Divine causality. As it first began to divulge its secrets to the classical scientists like Newton, nature appeared to be so regular as almost to preclude either human free will or divine providence. This influence persisted until the beginning of this century. In the first section of this paper we briefly trace the development of such a mechanistic view of process, noting its effect on Christian thought of the day. The second section attempts to explore the manner in which the recent thought structures of Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and Chaotic Dynamics might continue this tradition. These theories are introduced, and briefly examined for components of likely significance to our understanding of human and Divine agency. Those quantum mechanics and chaotic dynamics particularly, are then further explored. We conclude that the new physics suggests a wide-open universe in which the interaction of a Creator-Sustainer god can be postulated with far less confrontation with rational and scientific views of the natural order than was the case with the older Newtonian worldview. This is asserted to be the case both for the circumstance of genuine freedom in the universe, and also for its manner of being.


Used by permission: Institute for Christian Teaching